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Government approval now needed to fly

Government approval now needed to fly

Monday 20 April 2020

Government approval now needed to fly


Passengers will now only be allowed to board an "essential" flight to or from Jersey after getting a stamp of approval from the government before travelling.

Anyone wanting to travel on the daily Blue Islands flight to and from Southampton - the only remaining passenger flight - will have to complete a health declaration and provide additional information to identify the purpose for travel, such as essential worker status or for medical, repatriation or compassionate reasons.

Once the documents have been verified, eligible travellers will be given a unique code to book a qualifying seat at Blueislands.com.

It comes following an agreement between the Government and the airline, which has agreed to provide a regular link to the mainland, accessible only to passengers who meet essential travel criteria due to the current restrictions around travel.

Under the agreement, only passengers in the following categories are able to travel to and from the island.

Starting from today and until further notice, there will be three rotations each week, although services will be adapted if needed. Passengers will be charged £100 per leg, and the Government subsidy to ensure the service operates is expected to cost £15,000 per week.

“It’s evident that routes are not commercially viable for any airline to operate in the current climate, but Jersey requires a lifeline so the Government has underwritten this service," the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport, and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said.

“For a small number of people, travel will be absolutely essential, and this agreement is already making a positive difference to island life. We have already supported more than 75 Islanders, who were stranded overseas, to return home on Government-chartered flights which have also been used to transport essential medical supplies and construction workers vital for building Jersey’s new Nightingale Hospital."

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Pictured: Senator Farnham said maintaining lifeline air links was "imperative" during the pandemic.

“Maintaining lifeline air links during the pandemic are imperative to ensure access to and from the island for essential work, medical and compassionate grounds,” the Minister added. “I would like to thank Blue Islands and commend all those working on the front line to maintain these essential services.”

Rob Veron, the CEO of Blue Islands said the airline was proud to work with the Government to ensure the provision of "essential lifeline services between Jersey and the UK during these unprecedented times".

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience, understanding and support during these challenging and uncertain times," he added.

In addition to the Blue Islands service, passenger can only travel on all other commercial sea and air routes, as well as private aircrafts,  if they have prior authorisation. Ports of Jersey will only be granting permission to fly or berth following pre-authorisation from Customs.

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Pictured: Customs officers are monitoring all arriving and departing passengers.

The Customs and Immigration Service is monitoring all inbound and outbound passengers, and enforcing self-isolation for anyone who presents as symptomatic. 

"We hope that our shared objective of limiting the spread of coronavirus by limiting travel can be achieved through collective compliance and friendly advice and guidance, but JCIS will continue to meet all inbound and outbound passengers, and all travellers should be prepared to provide proof of justification for essential travel" Senator Farnham said. 

"Passengers who do not meet the essential travel criteria will be denied travel.”

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